New York, NY (May 9, 2002) – Whether it’s to sound off about the traffic on West Street, or put forth ideas for a memorial – people have a new community planning web tool to help them get involved in the rebuilding of downtown in the wake of the September 11th terrorist attacks.

‘Rebuilding A Community’ (www.downtownnyc.org) is an initiative of the Civic Alliance, a coalition of more than 75 business, community and environmental groups representing a cross-section of New York and the Region that is providing a broad “umbrella” for civic planning and advocacy efforts in support of the rebuilding of downtown New York.

Information and ideas from the site will be used by the Civic Alliance to inform its recommendations and reports to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the joint State-city Corporation that is overseeing the revitalization of Lower Manhattan.

“We’re talking about specifics” says Julie Caniglia of Project for Public Spaces – Civic Alliance member and one of the driving forces behind “Rebuilding A Community’. “We’re asking people who know and use downtown intimately – residents, workers and others – to contribute their local knowledge to help build a vision for a revitalized downtown. The website will evolve both as a major information resource, and a place where people can publicly discuss the issues while visioning, planning and rebuilding takes place.”

In the larger context of planning efforts, the ‘Rebuilding A Community’ website acts as a “nuts and bolts” counterpart to “ImagineNY,” another project that solicits narratives and pictures from the public, in that it allows the public to provide a high level of detail in commenting on specific places, issues, and proposals. The goal is to get people involved in creating a new downtown – not simply react to plans that are presented to them as a fait accompli.

The tool has been created and will be maintained on a pro-bono basis by Project for Public Spaces, as its contribution to the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan.

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REBUILDING COMMUNITY OBJECTIVES

- Allow residents, workers, business owners, planners, and a range of other stakeholders to share information and ideas about rebuilding downtown through ideas, input and responses related to specific lower Manhattan sites, and through online discussions on related topics – Provide a range of information and resources related to rebuilding, on topics such as traffic-calming, streetscape amenities, user-friendly design of plazas, and more – Keep the lines of communication open among Civic Alliance partners, community members and stakeholders, and ultimately, the decision-makers, planners and builders

PROJECT FOR PUBLIC SPACES

PPS is internationally known for its innovative approach to public-space planning. Community visioning is an essential part of our process, involving workshops, surveys of key constituencies, focus groups, collaborative envisioning, and observations of the current use of an area. We work with government agencies, arts organizations, downtown development groups, neighborhood associations, merchants’ associations, and corporations. We invite you to visit our website, www.pps.org, for a more comprehensive understanding of our work.

THE CIVIC ALLIANCE

The Regional Plan Association has convened The Civic Alliance to Rebuild Downtown New York to develop strategies for the redevelopment of Lower Manhattan in the aftermath of the September 11 attack on the World Trade Center. The Civic Alliance is a coalition of more than 75 business, community and environmental groups representing a cross-section of New York and the Region that is providing a broad “umbrella” for civic planning and advocacy efforts in support of the rebuilding of Downtown New York. The Alliance will work closely with the Empire State Development Corporation, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the City of New York to create a bold vision for a revitalized downtown.

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